Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sandstorm Woes

We had a wind advisory on the news this morning. I got the feeding and the milking done at record speed, because, after living here for 18-19 months or so, I now know what that means.
Not as bad as the ones that have hit Phoenix in recent memory, but bad enough! Wind gusting so bad, I can hardly stand on my feet outside. Every goat, chicken, goose, turkey and peafowl is hunkered down in their respective house.
And I am hunkered down in mine!
I had planned to do some outdoor chores today, but they can wait until tomorrow. No way am I going to try to turn the compost heap in this!
So, bread dough rising and I decided tonight we'll have stuffed squash, cabbage and a nice custard tonight for dinner.
I'll wait until tomorrow to do the dusting and vacuuming...no use doing it right now. Sand will just blow in the tiniest cracks and accumulate again...sigh.
I have a post planned where I discuss the recent increased interest in "Preppers" by the more "mainstream media", but since the wind has made my power flicker and my internet connection is a trifle wobbly right now, I'll wait to post that one tomorrow!

Monday, February 27, 2012

....And Now For Something Completely Different.....

First, the farm update:
I was supposed to start milking Molly this morning, putting her on a regular schedule. I took little Max away from her last night and put him in the kid pen.
Much bleating ensued...from Mama Molly and little Max. Finally, they settled down.
This morning, as I was helping the kids get ready for school (after I fed the goats), I heard SCREAMING coming from the kids pen. I hauled butt out there and found little Max had attempted an escape and gotten his head caught under the fence. He was panicking and totally freaking out.
I swooped in and grabbed him and took him to his (now) half-hysterical mama. He immediately began nursing, for comfort and out of hunger, and Mama Molly --- after checking her baby out---gave me the dirtiest look I imagine a goat can give!
It was a look that said "Some baby-sitter YOU are! Look at my kid! He could have died over there!"
Yeah, I felt awful.
So, I am going to try to milk her while she still has Max at her side, so to speak. I'll just take her out of the pen in the morning, milk her, and then put her back in.
At least until Max has a little more common sense...or is too big to fit under the fence!
I rarely get political on here.I also don't talk much about peak oil, global warming (or cooling---depends on who you listen to), conspiracy theories, government control of our lives, government excesses (in everything), etc.
Well, boys and girls, got your tinfoil hats ready?
If not, I'll wait a moment while you prepare yours.
Ready? Good, let's proceed then.
What search engine do you use?
Google? Bing?
Both of those track your travels around the internet and have no qualms about selling your information or turning it over to the government.
We all need to use a search engine on occasion.
But I don't like the idea of google following me around the internet!
Check this out, really, please read it!
Creepy, huh?
So, I have started using DuckDuckGo for my search engine of choice.
No tracking, no ads. No B.S.
And no, they don't pay me for advocating them.
It is simply that in a world with diminishing privacy boundaries, it is always safer to put up whatever *walls* you can---in my opinion.
I will be writing more about "going gray", as in protecting yourself, your home and your family from unwanted scrutiny, especially if you are a *prepper* in my next few posts.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Morning...

Penar and his girls over by the milking stand
Max, Xander and Heloise enjoying the sunshine
Persephone and the new peahen, Phobe

Phoebe is smaller, Persephone has the white patch on her wings

They get along well, as long as Phoebe agrees that Persephone is in charge!

Lily is still waiting...and waiting...to kid
Yup, bagging up and pouchy goat butt...she is close!

Pendar looking magnificent as usual!

Yes, we have acquired another peahen. She was offered to us at a price 1/4 of what peahens usually sell for, so we decided to go ahead and get her. We named her Phoebe.
Lily is getting closer and closer to kidding...just wish she would go ahead and kid already! Poor thing is waddling around her pen and seems to have that "Oh, I am so fat and miserable" thing going on. Frequent ear scratches and tummy rubs help.
Little Max is growing by leaps and bounds and enjoys head-butting the geese. Tonight he will spend the night with Gerte and Gustav in the kid pen, as his mama will be milked in the morning. We have been conditioning Molly to the milking stand, but she is still pretty fidgety, so milking her will be a definite TWO person job!
Pendar loves being "cock of the walk" now that Red is gone. He takes good care of his hens and Ugly Betty has moved out of the peafowl pen and into the chicken coop! Pendar made sure the other hens didn't pick on her and Betty has adjusted well.
That's Sunday morning here, hope all of you are having a lovely day, too!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Weird Way to Start the Day

This morning, at 6:20am, I had a physical for a life insurance policy.
Yes, they sent out a physicians assistant at that hour to give me the quick exam!
I had just finished feeding the livestock when she got here.
She took my height and weight (even had her own scales with her!), my blood pressure (on both arms), my pulse, got a urine sample...and then, the bane of ever medical exam I have ever had...she took a blood sample.
I, apparently, was born with veins buried so deep that it requires an oil rigging crew to find them.
I have had doctors, nurses, phlebotomy experts, EMTs, etc all try and FAIL to find a vein.
I donated to the Red Cross one time. They finally succeeded in finding a vein, and they thought my blood was good (no problems with disease, etc), but unless it is an emergency, they really don't want me to come back.
They told me so.
So, the nice P.A. and I sat on the couch in the living room and she assured me there wouldn't be a problem.
Yeah, s-u-u-u-u--r-r-r-r-e.
Then she examined my arms. Wrapped her little rubber thingee around my arm and asked me to make a fist. Gave me a little rubber ball to pump up my arm.
Examined both arms again. With a flashlight, no less.
Frowned again.
Finally she tried to get blood out of my left arm.
No dice...nothing.
After a bit more frowning and examining, she asked if I would object to her trying to get some blood out of my hand.
I agreed and FINALLY! she struck blood.
Three vials of blood later, she was on her way.

I thought it was pretty cool she could come to the house to do this.
Still, a weird way to start my day!
After she left, I did the milking and started some cheese. I did yogurt and cajeta yesterday.
Right now, I have an "embarrassment of riches" when it comes to eggs.
The chickens are laying like this was a job and they all seem to be doing overtime!
The goose is popping out one or two a day for the last week.
The turkeys, Trixie and Tinkerbelle, are sharing a nest and currently have 6 eggs in it.
I decided to let Trixie and Tinkerbelle have their nest and their eggs. Hopefully, they will hatch out some wee poults.
I gathered from the geese until I cried "Uncle!" on that effort and decided to let them try to hatch theirs and give us some goslings.
The hens eggs I still gather as none of them are broody in the least.
But, still, I have a LOT of eggs.
I have used them in every conceivable recipe I can find.
Souffles, quiche, breads and other pastries, pies and cakes, Yorkshire puddings, meatloaf, boiled eggs, creamed eggs on toast, deviled eggs, custards, you name it, I have fixed it!
I went online to find more recipes and have exhausted almost all of the recipe places.
My neighbors have appreciated some of our eggs. Next, I guess I will sell eggs at the farmers market!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Odds and Ends and Pieces

Lily still hasn't kidded. She seems to be in some sort of  "holding pattern" waiting for the most perfect moment to kid.
No doubt it will be at THE most inconvenient moment possible. Driving rain storm or a sandstorm most likely.
Still, she is enjoying the extra attention. I check on her several times a day and make sure to scratch her right behind the ears. I go out at night and make sure all is well. I have even sat in her pen at night and given her ear scratching and tummy rubs until she falls asleep...with her head in my lap.
Not spoiled much, is she?
So, still waiting on her.
The Boy and the Girl have each had horrendous colds in the past couple of weeks.
I finally got it and it blossomed into a Class 4 sinus infection.
I have been combating it with lots of hot tea with lemon and honey, hot, HOT baths with lavender soap and bath oil and Halls Menthol-Lyptus cough drops.
The first hour I am up I am miserable...after that I am more or less okay.
Just takes two of three cups of tea.
The kids recovered nicely, the Darlin' Man hasn't caught it and my son hasn't caught it.
I should be okay by the end of the week, I hope!
Today I go to the dentist to get a recheck on the extraction that was done.
While I am out, I plan to stop by the feed store as we need some sweet feed.
I think I will stay glued to the Darlin' Mans side the whole time we are there!
 Weirdness abounds in recent news stories..
The Russians grew an extinct plant from a 30,000 year old seed.
Good thing or bad thing?
I dunno, but I have seen Jurassic Park enough times to be nervous about any extinct species being resurrected. They say the Japanese are hoping to resurrect the Mammoth from frozen specimens found in the tundra in Siberia.
Is that really wise? I mean...what bacteria did those animals carry in their digestive tracts?
That's just one thing that worries me.
Also, meat grown from stem cells?
I see all kinds of problems cropping up from that!
Well, time to hang up the laundry and then I think a shower for me. Lots and lots of lavender scented bubbles!

Monday, February 20, 2012

So, WE Went To The Feed Store...

That's right, WE.
I wasn't about to let the Darlin' Man come across another "great deal". We needed chicken scratch, and , by golly, we were going to get chicken scratch and ONLY chicken scratch!
Meet Tinkerbelle:

I am s-o-o-o-o-o-o embarrassed.
All the times I ranted and raved about the Darlin' Man carting home yet another critter and all of you telling me to always go with him when he went to the feed store to prevent this.
But, seriously, it was not my fault, I swear!
Let me explain...
I got a bit side-tracked getting the chicken scratch and decided to get some game cock feed for the peafowl while we were there.
In the meantime, the Darlin' Man wandered out back...where the livestock pens are.
He comes back up front and pays for the feed, we go out to the car and load it up.
We get in the car and he says; "Hang on, we gotta pick up something out back."
Turns out, he made a deal without my knowing about it.
He ran into the guy that bought Cornelius and the guy informed him that a friend of his fell in love with Cornie at first sight, so he sold Cornie to them. Cornelius is now a HOUSE PET! He sits on the couch and watches t.v. and has his own little bed, etc.
Okay, how the hell did that translate into a new turkey?
Well, our friend had been contacted by someone that wanted a baby buck goat for a petting zoo.
They wanted one they could bottlefeed and that would be gentle.
So, he will be around later to pick up Morpheus.
The deal?
Oh yeah, back to that...
The guy that wanted Morpheus just happened to have a turkey hen. He would trade her and some cash for Morpheus.
Yep, that's  how I ended up holding a rather large and mildly agitated turkey hen on my lap for the ride home....
Trixie and Timothy were a bit startled at the new arrival...well, Timothy was delighted, Trixie a little less so.
Well...sigh....we'll see how this works out....
I have to admit, Tinkerbelle is lovely. And fairly docile. And she and Trixie seem to be getting along well.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Goodbye and Good Luck!

Yesterday, the Darlin' Man got a call from a farmer friend. This guy has chickens and goats as well, but had run into a problem.
His old rooster had died and he wanted another rooster "right damn quick".
Would we happen to have an extra rooster hanging around?
Why yes, yes we do!
The farmer was so happy, he PAID for Red, the psychotic rooster!
We warned him about Reds' *ahem* personality quirks.
The farmer didn't care. He even offered to go in the coop and catch Red himself! The Darlin' Man went ahead and did because Red was kinda scared of him.
Today, Pender is "King of the Roost". He is a bit tired this afternoon, due to chasing all of Reds' Harem of Hens around the yard all day, but he seems happy.
This farmer also had another issue looming before him...he raises goats and his buck is old. He didn't expect his buck to make it another year.
We have 3 baby bucks!
He checked them out and was much impressed by all three, but little Cornelius caught his eye the most.
Yes, we sold him Cornelius.
Champagne had almost weaned him...barely let him suckle at all and kicked him away when he tried.
Cornie was eating alfalfa and sweet feed well. I hadn't banded him because I had hopes that someone would want the sweet wee buck for a breeding goat instead of us putting him in the freezer.
So, we said goodbye to Cornelius as well.
The farmer has a few milking does, so he said he could give Cornelius a bottle or two a day, if need be.
While he was here, he called some other farmer friends and we ended contracting to sell Maximus and Morpheus as well! They will be herd bucks, so I don't have to band them. They won't be leaving until end of March, early April, though.
All in all, a good night!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Playing the Waiting Game...Again

So, I have two more goats that are pregnant. Lily and her best buddy, Nina.
We bought them at the same time, brought them home at the same time and Wang, the buck we had, had access to them at the same time.
However, Nina played "hard to get", so she was bred about a week later than Lily.
By my count (remember, I am terrible at math!), Lily should be due the first week in March, and Nina the second week of March.
Lily apparently is going to jump the gun by a few days....maybe.
Yesterday, Lily let out a horrendous squawk/ screech/bleat that sounded like she was being tortured to death! I ran outside, convinced she had gotten her head stuck in the gate or perhaps a coyote had gotten in the yard and ripped off one of her legs! It sounded that bad!
Nope, she was just standing there in her pen, looking a bit distressed, but all in one piece.
I got in the pen to check on her and noticed she was bagging up.
Nina, jealous that I was petting Lily, starting head butting poor Lily.
So, Nina was transferred to the nursery pen with the younglings.
Now, when I got the girls, their udders were :high and tight" as neither had ever been bred/kidded.
Look at Lily this morning!
Yup, definitely bagging up!

"Excuse me!? This is NOT my best angle!"

 So, on kidding watch again!
Meanwhile, Lily continues to bleat in the most pitiful manner every time she thinks she feels a contraction, I swear!
The neighbors keep coming out to check on her...I think to make sure she isn't being tortured!
Like my friend over at Krazo Acres was about her Nettie goat, I am anxious about this goat Lily. It is her first kidding. She was bred to the same buck as the rest of them, and all of the others had twins!
So, besides keeping an eye on Lilys' hindmost parts today until whenever she kids, I have a full plate today.
But a break to watch Mollys' little boys cheered up my morning!
"Oh...Max is still sleeping!"

"WHAT!? Sneak attacks are legal! I'm a GOAT!"

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Everyday Disasters

We all have them...small disasters that occur when we don't pay attention for just one moment.
We knock a prized glass bowl off a counter *crash* or we forget about the casserole in the oven because we are trying to get the clothes off the line before a storm hits and we have to resort to fixing sandwiches for dinner because the casserole ended up a rather large burnt hockey puck.

Today, I was inattentive for just a moment while I was milking Gabby.
Sure enough, just as I was finishing up...she planted a hoof dead smack in the middle of the milk pan.
While Gabrielle is a lovely goat, she is not a fastidious goat when it comes to getting pedicures. She walks around in her pen, which, as can be expected, has goat poop and urine all over it.
So, I finished milking, put Gabby back with her twins and took the milk inside.
First, I gave some to Siona and our new dog, Baby, and they were VERY happy that their morning kibble was more like a bowl of cereal.
Still had plenty of milk left.

 Yes, the chickens got it! All seemed delighted at this unexpected gift. Red, as you can see in the last picture, started crowing his head off. I am sure he was announcing to his chickens that HE somehow brought this wonderful treat to them.

Everyday disasters....they happen...

Old Dog Learns New Trick

Remember our dog Siona?
Yeah, that's her.
Siona follows me around a lot as I feed, milk the goats,  gather eggs, muck out pens and do all the other chores that come with running this place.
She doesn't help much...but she doesn't get in the way, either. She doesn't chase the animals or get aggressive towards them. A pretty well-behaved dog.
A few days ago, she asked to go out while I was vacuuming. She has a strong dislike for the vacuum cleaner, always had. So when I vacuum, she either goes outside or retreats to another room until I am done.
So, she goes out, I finish up the vacuuming and open the door to let her back in.
The chickens were out in the yard, wandering about and scratching and clucking. Siona comes in the back door and she is holding something in her mouth. I hold my hand out and say "Give it here" and she drops an egg in my hand! Not a scratch or dent on it! 
I praised her profusely and gave her a doggie treat. 
The egg was washed and put in the fridge.
Siona has never gone after the hens eggs before and I wondered if she was bringing the egg in to snack on, or whether she had found it in one of the hidey-holes on the back porch where the hens sometimes lay eggs and had decided it was something I needed to know about.
I didn't think about it until the next day (yesterday) when she was out for her morning "potty break" and I saw her trot into the chicken coop and return to the back door with another egg!
She brought it in and carefully put it on the floor at my feet and then looked at me, wagging her tail.
Yes, she got another doggie treat!
Yesterday afternoon, I put the chickens back in their coop as I usually do. Right before sunset, Siona was out in the yard and she was watching the hens in the coop attentively.
Then she barked, ran over to me, ran back to the coop and barked again.
I went over to the coop to see what she was so excited about and, sure enough, a hen had just laid an egg.
Apparently, Siona has figured out that we want the eggs, and being a good dog, she wants to help in this endeavor!
I have never seen a dog that gathered eggs before...or even heard of one!
Not bad for a 7 year old mixed-breed rescue dog that never lived on a farm before around 18 months ago!
Now, if I can train her to put the eggs in a little basket and bring them to me...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Little Romance for Valentines Day

Meet Timothy:
Timothy was lonely. He lived in a pen all by himself on a small farm that had no other turkeys.
One day, a man came by the small farm and bought Timothy. He put Timothy in a large box, put the box in a car and drove for a long time (or so it seemed to Timothy, as he was shut up in a box and couldn't see where he was going!)
Finally, the man let him out of the box into a pen. In the pen there were goats! Big goats, little goats, all kinds of goats!
From Timothys' point of view, this was NOT a Good Thing.
No other turkeys to talk to, no lady turkeys to romance.
Timothy sighed and watched the sun set, while avoiding the head butts of the baby goats.
Soon it was dark, and Timothy got a Grand Idea!
This pen had no top to it...and he had very strong wings!
He could fly out and find some turkey friends all on his own!
Timothy stretched out his wings, flapped and jumped! He was on the top of the pen! Away from the goats, he looked around, trying to decide to the best direction to head off to in his search. Before he could make up his mind, he heard loud noises, and bright lights flashed across the pen.
A strange creature, with fuzzy feet and a long gown grabbed him! He flapped and struggled and did his best to get away, but he was caught. Timothy, much to his embarrassment, panicked and when he got that excited and panicked, he did what turkeys do. He pooped.
This made the strange creature that captured him erupt in a cacophony of even louder noise, which made Timothy panic more, which, unfortunately made him poop more.
He was carried to a new pen and tossed in. The gate was slammed shut, and as the creature (and its' noise) retreated into the night, he looked around this pen.
No turkeys.
There were two wildly feathered birds, a rooster and a small black chicken.

But no turkeys.
There was also a roof, so no chance for escape.
Timothy huddled in the corner and went to sleep, feeling lonelier than ever.
 The next morning, the man came and started hammering and sawing and doing all sorts of things next to the goat pen. Timothy enjoyed the breakfast that was brought to him, although the other birds shoved him out of the way to eat. They were so rude to him!
Finally all the hammering and sawing stopped and the man came and got Timothy and put him in a pen.
His OWN pen! It had a roof, so no exploring, but he didn't have to worry about goats or other birds bothering him.
Timothy was still lonely, though.
That afternoon, he heard the mans car and the man came back to his pen and opened the gate.
Into the pen, he put....a turkey!
And not just any turkey...it was a GIRL turkey!
A LOVELY girl turkey! Her name was Trixie and she had been lonely for a long time, too. The farm that she was from was just up the road and had several turkeys, but she had been the smallest. Because of that, Trixie had been bullied by some of the bigger turkeys and had even had one eye pecked out when she was smaller!
Timothy didn't mind. He was so happy to see Trixie that he did what all boy turkeys do when they see a lovely girl turkey.
He fluffed up all his feathers, fanned his tail out and strutted around the pen to show Trixie how handsome he was.
Trixie was impressed! Yes, his tail was a bit bedraggled, but in her eyes, Timothy was a perfectly handsome turkey!
As the days went on, they grew closer...and finally, Trixie laid eggs! Of course, the strange creature that had screeched at Timothy his first night here, came and gathered the eggs, but Trixie knew there would be more eggs to come.
Timothy and Trixie were lonely no more...they had each other!

The only thing that confused Timothy and Trixie was why did everyone say the same word while looking at them.....
What was this "Thanksgiving" they kept talking about?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Potato Soup Recipe and Musical Goats

Okay, I make this potato soup...it is pretty simple and most folks have all the ingredients on hand.
First and foremost, NO SUBSTITUTIONS!
Margarine is NOT the same as butter. It does not taste right if you use margarine!
Also, FRESH onion, not dried!
The herbs can be fresh or dried, however.

Potato Soup

1 stick butter
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
4 to 5 cups peeled sliced potatoes (Please do not dice them. Slice them around 1/8th to a 1/4 inch thick)
2 quarts chicken broth OR 5 or 6 chicken bullion cubes dissolved in 2 quarts water.
1 tablespoon fresh minced basil or tarragon or 1 teaspoon of same herb dried.
1 and 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 to 2 cups heavy cream

Okay, here's the directions:
Melt butter in bottom of deep stock pot type pan. Add onions and garlic and cook until onion is translucent.
Add two quarts chicken stock to pan and then add potatoes.
Bring to a boil and then cover and turn back heat to light boil. Cook until potatoes are tender.
Once potatoes are tender, add herbs (dried or fresh).
Mix cornstarch into heavy cream thoroughly.
Pour cream mixture into pot slowly, stirring all the while.
Simmer and stir as it thickens...about 8 to 10 minutes.

Now, while the potatoes were cooking away in the chicken broth, fry up 4 or 5 slices of bacon and drain. Crumble the bacon up in a small bowl. Also set out small bowls of croutons, sour cream, sliced green onions and grated sharp cheddar cheese.

Serve the soup in bowls and add toppings (bacon, cheese, etc) to taste. Crusty slices of fresh baked bread go well with this!

That's my easy potato soup recipe. Hope ya'll like it! Feel free to change it to adapt to your own tastes...but trust me, the real butter is necessary!
About the "musical goats"...
I have had to switch the goats around in the pens AGAIN, due to personality conflicts.
Molly had Morpheus and Maximus...and Paulis (our wether) started trying to play with the wee ones and was a tad too rough. So, we moved him in with Nina and Lily. Bad idea. Nina and Lily do not like Paulis and proceeded to butt and kick the crap out of him.
So, I moved him into the pen with Gustav, Gerte and Gabby...and Champagne and Cornelius. That worked...to a point. When I took the mama goats out at night, Paulis proceeded to butt and kick Cornelius.
So, I moved Cornelius and Champagne in with Molly and her boys. Cornelius is still so tiny, I thought maybe it would work. Thankfully, it did. Molly has calmed down remarkably since she had her kids. She has not bullied Champagne or Cornelius.
Cornelius snuggles up with Max and Morph at night and they all sleep together nicely.
I have put Paulis up on Craigslist. Sale or trade. He is of no use to us unless we put him in the freezer and we have designated Gustav for that!
Hopefully, someone will respond to my ad!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Quick Update

Although I had a full mouth extraction and got dentures around 3 years ago, I ended up at the dentist yesterday.
It turned out that the original dentist missed a rather large tooth root during the extraction.
During the last 3 years, it worked itself through the gum and started causing me problems. It got a bit infected, so yesterday at 8 am, I sat in a dentists chair and had the offending root extracted.
This dentist prides himself on his patients NEVER experiencing pain during the procedures.
So...by the time I left his office yesterday, I was feeling NO pain. I am pretty sure I was floating.
Went with the Darlin' Man and got my prescriptions filled (antibiotic and painkiller), came home, put together potato soup for dinner, put it on simmer on the back burner and went to sleep.
The kids and my son milked and fed the goats yesterday...very nice of them!

Today I am doing better, but still not quite 100%.
So, I have started some laundry in the washer, some dishes in the dishwasher and will now take 1/2 of a pain pill and take a nap. If I had taken the pain pill before doing chores, I am sure I would have had dishes in the washer and clothes in the dishwasher!
I only take 1/2 of a pill at a time as I am hyper-sensitive to just about every medication (including over the counter) and if I take a full pain pill, it would knock me out for about 10 hours!
So, nap time for me...tomorrow I'll catch up on things here and post the recipe for my potato soup! (It is really easy and so delicious!)

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Conversation

I am currently on my Darlin' Mans' laptop...which is really weird. I mean it feels weird...like a toy or something.
Give me my big clunky bruiser of a desktop ANY day!

Anyway...I figured I would report on how Trixie, the girl turkey ended up on our little farm.

So, the Darlin' Man spent a good part of Saturday morning putting up the new pen for Timothy Turkey.
Saturday evening, the Darlin' Man had to go out and run some errands and report briefly for work. I figured "What kind of mischief can he go into with such a short trip?"
I am SUCH an optimist!

So, he returns and I was busy putting a post up on this blog, so I didn't peek out the window to see what was taking him so long to come in the door.
When he DID come in, here's (as best as I can remember) the conversation we had:

HIM: You know I love you, right?
ME: Yes, darling, I love you, too. (and I WAS thinking "Uh-Oh")
HIM: And you kow I love farming and animals, right?
ME: Yes, and so do I.
HIM: You don't think I am an animal hoarder, do you?
ME: No, but if you keep it up...well, just ask me next time!
HIM: Well, I got the pen built for the turkey pretty fast!
ME: Yes, you did...but NO MORE animals UNLESS we have a pen built FIRST!
HIM: ABSOLUTELY! Look out in the turkey pen!!!
ME: I have seen the new pen, it looks great.
HIM: No, LOOK in the turkey pen.....
...short period of awkward silence as I just "look" at him. Ladies, you know the "look" I am talking about!...
HIM: You won't believe the deal I got on her!
ME: *facepalm*
We go out in the yard and I check out the new turkey.
HIM: I got a discounted price because she only has one eye.
ME: S-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o, you somehow found a one eyed turkey at a discounted price and you were gone from the house less than an hour? How did you manage THAT!?
HIM: Well, actually, I was talking to Stretch.... (a neighbor that has goats, sheep, pigs, pheasants, peafowl, turkeys, horses, etc and five times more property than us. I think Stretch is the Darlin' Mans' idol...sigh)
ME: Oh dear god NO.
HIM: Well, Stretch let me have her at a GREAT price. What do you think of her?
ME: As long as Timothy Turkey likes her.
At this point, Timothy decides to show the new turkey hen just how much he does like her. The Darlin' Man is beside himself with glee.

So, that's the type of conversations that occur around here...
Some days I think my Darlin' Man needs a chaperone when he goes out...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Rest of the Story....

So, last night, the Darlin' Man gets a phone call. I thought it was from work...until I heard him ask "Should I bring a bag or something to put it in?"
I cornered him as he was edging towards the door and he told me he had gotten a "killer deal" on a turkey. A turkey we could fatten up for Thanksgiving.
Where would we put said turkey?
"Oh", he replied breezily, "we can just tuck him in with the goats or something."
Uhmmm...I dunno.....
So, he brings home this behemoth of a turkey. HUGE.  Turkey-zilla.
We put the giant bird in with the goat babies and the Darlin' Man goes to bed.
I stayed up a bit, watching a show I had missed earlier in the week. The Boy and Girl had gone with friends to see a movie and I was waiting up for them, too. (Like many Mom types, I cannot get to sleep until I know everyone is home and safe.)
The Boy comes in and grabs the flashlight as soon as he hits the door yelling "Something is trying to get in after the baby goats!"
I run out with him...and there...in all his feathered glory is the turkey, perched on top of the fence of the pen and about to launch himself into the neighbors yard.
I dive into the pen and launch myself at the darn bird and manage to grab him.
Lesson #1 Turkeys are strong.
The turkey begins flapping and fighting. Don't blame him. If someone snuck up behind me late at night and grabbed me, I imagine I would toss up a ruckus, too! Add to that the fact that I was in my nightgown and fuzzy slippers...I imagine I was pretty much a turkey nightmare!
Lesson #2 This turkey is full grown, full grown turkeys are heavy.
I am not a weakling. But a full grown 20+ pound turkey in full panic mode is tough to handle! I managed to hug him close tome and pin his wings down and dash to the peafowl pen.I flung him in there and discovered something else.
Lesson #3 Turkeys in panic mode crap. A LOT.
I stomped back into the house and headed for the shower. My Darlin' Man, who had slept through the festivities, was perturbed that I woke him up by taking a shower. "Why are you taking a shower now? You just took one a couple hours ago!"

Dear readers...I will not post what was said by myself in the five minutes that came next.My statements at that moment were made under a great deal of stress...and, as we all know, statements made under a great deal of stress are not to be taken seriously.
Something like this:
Anyway, went out this morning to discover the turkey (now christened Timothy) had decided to make amorous advances toward Penelope the peahen AND Ugly Betty the chicken. Neither of the girls were happy!
Construction on a turkey pen commenced quickly. By eleven thirty a.m., Timothy Turkey was settled in.
On to Molly and her twin boys...
While we were constructing the turkey pen, I was keeping an eye on Molly, she seemed to be a bit restless.
I got caught up in construction, plus making lunch, plus I had a pan of cajeta cooking down on the stove, so admittedly, I wasn't keeping a close eye on Molly.
I noticed she wasn't wandering around her pen as usual,

I let the Darlin' Man go to town by himself again.

I know...I know. I should know better by now.
Say hello to our newest resident:

Meet Trixie.

Back to our regularly scheduled post...
I went over to the big goat pen and there was Molly, pawing away and then plopping down in the straw in the goat house. I ran to grab my birthing kit and yelled for everyone else...
By the time I got out there, she had delivered one and was in the middle of delivering the other. I had to actually pull the second kid, as it was so large it got stuck!
Both mama Molly and her twin boys are doing fine. I went out and took a few more pictures to show how squeeeeeeeeeee! cute they are!
This is Morpheus, the one I had to pull.
 And this is Maximus!
Molly and her boys!
Now, if you'll excuse me,I need to go take an aspirin and possibly take a nap.
Or perhaps a nice strong drink.
"I wonder what her problem is? Is she screaming?"

Meet Maximus and Morpheus!

Molly JUST gave birth!
Twin boys!
Here they are, complete with mama Mollys' floppy ears!
The dark one is Maximus, the lighter one is Morpheus.
Mama and kids doing fine!

Friday, February 3, 2012

No Kids Yet...But a New Arrival, Anyway!

Introducing Timothy Turkey!
More about Timothy tomorrow!

No Kidlings Yet

I think my goats are messing with me.
Molly and Lily are showing all the signs of  going into labor...but no kids yet!
I go out and check and check and check and spend half the night out there and.....nothing, except Lily wants belly rubs and to go to sleep with her head in my lap while she snores peacefully and Molly is convinced my only reason to come out to see her is so she can go through my pockets looking for treats!
Well, since there is not much going on here but the ENDLESS waiting,I figured I would do that thing that many bloggers have done...post a "Get to Know Me Better" type post, so maybe new folks would get to know me and long term readers might find out a few things that they didn't know!
My place of birth: Germany
Favorite animal for pet: Dog
Favorite Beverages: Milk and Dr Pepper with Pomegranate juice running a close third
Favorite flavors: Ginger and honey, DARK chocolate...not very fond of milk chocolate
Favorite scents: Gardenia and Jasmine (I HATE those candles/body sprays/etc. that smell like fruit and cookies and other foods, give me floral every time) 
Favorite Flowers: White Tulips, Lilacs, Gardenias, Hyacinths, and White Roses.
Favorite music: Rock...Metal, Heavy Metal, Soft Rock (think Elton John), Celtic
Least favorite music: Country. I despise country music, it literally gives me migraines!
Favorite artist(s): Mary Cassett, Henry Moore (English sculptor), Monet, Paul Gauguin
Favorite movies: The Lion in Winter, Lady Jane, Jurassic Park series, V for Vendetta, The Stand
Favorite writers: Shakespeare, Stephen King,
Favorite color: Blues and Greens...and Orange...and Yellow...HAPPY colors!
Favorite TV programs: Being Human (BBC and SYFY versions), History Channel stuff, Project Runway. I also watch a lot of DIY shows and Cooking/Food shows.
If I were stranded on a desert island, I would want: Les Stroud (Survivorman)NOT Bear Grylls!
When I was little, I wanted to be: A veterinarian. Or a lady wrestler.
Weird thing about me #1: I can bend several of my fingers at the first (top) joint.
Little Known Thing About Me: I once worked as an "extra" in a few movies and tv shows.No screen credits,just a face in the background!
Favorite Activities: Cooking/Baking, Sewing/Quilting, Camping/Hiking, reading, painting (prefer oils over acrylics or watercolors), horseback riding, tending to my goats and chickens.
Weird Thing About Me #2: My eyes are hazel-green...but can change color depending on what I wear and sometimes my mood!

Want to know anything about me? Just ask!
I have a few things to do around the house...the usual laundry, etc. Just gonna have to fight the urge to crawl back into bed...looks so comfy, as Siona is happily demonstrating...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Quick Update!

Lily the goat is in the beginning stages of labor! And so is Molly!
Lily was panting a bit,and some discharge and her udder was filling.Molly has a mild discharge and her udder has filled out more.
So, I moved Lily into the milking goats pen so that Molly (who is a bully) won't endanger Lily's newborn when it arrives.Or they arrive, as I am pretty sure Lily is going to have twins.
Of course,when I moved Lily, I had to move her best buddy with her, as Lily bellows her head off when separated from Nina!
Picture reference:
Nina lookig svelte (before she was pregnant)

Molly with her cute "bobby sox"and spiffy red collar. (Another pre-pregnancy pic)

Lily, her first day here...with Wang introducing himself! Wang is the daddy...but he has been sold to another enterprising goat owner that liked the look of his offspring.

So...we should have new kidlings by the weekend. Goats are hard to predict, but I will be keeping a close eye on both of them!
Somehow....I see this ending with my spending the night in the goat house holding Lilys' hand hoof. It is her first kid and she is a very people oriented slightly nervous animal. Whenever upset, she makes a bee-line to the nearest person...with Nina in tow, of course!
I have my kidding kit ready...to that I have added a pillow and blanket...just in case!

Farm Surprise!

Remember Xander and the lovely Heloise?
Well, they currently share quarters with some of the goats.
Xander does well on holding his own against the goats at feeding time, so it will do until we get a goose pen constructed.
This morning in the goat house...

Goose eggs!
I went to retrieve them...arming myself against Xander...
Yes, a broom is the preferred weapon of defense here! It'll brush Xander away without injuring him and he has now developed a healthy respect for the broom and waddles off when I approach with it. Of course, he mutters goose talk while moving away from me...I can only imagine the threats he is making!
"Darn human wouldn't be so big and bad without that broom! I'll get her one day when she forgets that evil weapon!"
So, I gathered the eggs...turned out there were five,but two had been crushed by the goats.Heloise appeared to have abandoned the messy nest she had constructed, so I didn't feel too bad about collecting the eggs.
Someone else was setting this morning as well!
Ugly Betty, in her nest constructed of straw, her feathers and peacock feathers (ooooOOoohhh...fancy!)
Pendar had just gifted Betty with a lettuce leaf when I took the picture. He is a very protective and compassionate rooster! He brings Betty choice bits out of the feed pan and snuggles up to her at night to keep her warm.
So, I gathered an egg from Betty as well. Her eggs are small, but she usually lays 2 a day!
Comparison picture:
Bettys' egg on the left, Heloises' on the right.

I think I will make cornbread tonight and use one of  Heloises' eggs.
I cleaned out the goat pen, put down fresh straw in the goat house as Molly is due to kid ANY DAY and cleaned out and refilled their water trough.
I think we need to construct a goose house asap, though. I don't like the goats trampling Heloises' nest and I really do want her to hatch out a clutch of eggs!

Back to Molly....her udder is beginning to fill out and her tail has raised a touch. I am hoping she will be on schedule. She is due this week!
More kidlings....YAY!